Grave robbers steal clothing off corpses


There remain a handful of actions that are generally accepted as off-limits by society today. These include: guzzling the communion wine during mass, sending your kids off on Halloween dressed in white robes and a hood, and messing with the dead.

Someone in Burke County, Georgia, apparently missed the memo on the last item, as authorities there reported that grave robbers broke into caskets in an isolated cemetery and removed clothes from the bodies of Confederate and Revolutionary War veterans.

Investigators said grave robbers turned over head stones at Old Church Cemetery in Waynesboro, Ga., pulled caskets from the ground and removed the clothes from the deceased, leaving their bones exposed.

The robbers also disturbed graves containing children’s bodies, according to the Waynesboro True Citizen.

The cemetery is in a secluded location and has been a burial site since the 1700s.

An official with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office said he believes the grave robbers were searching for relics, The Telegraph reported.

“Any of the artifacts that would have been buried on some of these soldiers is most likely what the grave robbers were hunting for, whether to keep them for themselves or to sell,” Sgt. Sean Cochran said.

Of course, the question as to why someone would want clothing that had been on a decayed corpse can only be answered by the perpetrators, one supposes.

While investigators have been unable to determine exactly when the desecrations took place, in part because of the cemetery’s secluded location, they say they’re confident they will catch the culprits.

“They are going to sell it to the wrong person,” Cochran said. “They are going to say something, they are going to do something and somebody is going to tell me.”

Efforts are underway to properly re-bury the soldiers and children, according to the publication.

(Top: Desecrated grave from Old Church Cemetery, Waynesboro, Ga. Photo Credit: WJBF-TV.)

15 thoughts on “Grave robbers steal clothing off corpses

  1. Two questions:
    Any dates for when these sacrileges occurred?

    If done recently, how could there possibly be any clothing left after more than 200-300 years? Metal buttons, leather possibly. Certainly bones, but not much else

    A person who commits such a violation is sick, sick, sick!

  2. I hate to hear that. I agree – there couldn’t be much left but sometimes people are buried with valuables even swords etc.

    • This was within the past week or so. I wasn’t able to link to the actual newspaper that reported the story because it had a paywall, but it was the lead story on the front of their homepage.

      It’s a pretty sad state of affairs when the property of the dead isn’t even safe.

    • Thanks for the link. And I agree: what utter disrespect for both the dead and the living, as in the relatives of the dead whose graves were desecrated.

      It’s interesting how this sort of crime gets folks riled up, but if the perpetrators are caught, I hope they get very long sentences. They probably won’t, but people who have such little respect for something as sacred as a grave are likely to have committed other crimes, as well.

      • I think you’re right. Grave robbing is hardly an entry level crime is it.
        As for punishment, if caught they will probably just get a slap on the wrist. I do believe that karma will get you in the end though. I can only hope in that regard there is something very unpleasant in store for them.

      • If one were to list the actions in which karma would come into play, I would think “grave robbing” would be near the top of the list. And it wouldn’t be the good kind of karma.

  3. Pingback: Georgia grave robbers charged in looting case | The Cotton Boll Conspiracy

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